Saturday, April 19 – Beeston Castle run leader

I lead the Club today to Beeston Castle, so at 9am, Tom and I were at Four Lane ends awaiting the club.  I did not want many out, for this run is far from a potter.  My wish was gratified, for at 9.30 just nine of us started, including the two best humorists in the section, ‘Billie’ and ‘Bob’.  Until we turned for Warburton, beyond Glazebury, we had the strong wind against us, but then it blew us along at a fine pace.  Warburton and Broom Edge were soon left behind, and speeding past High Legh, we reached Great Budworth.  The pretty village was as quiet as ever when we passed through, and from the hill beyond, Budworth Mere looked a picture.  Comberbach was left behind, and speeding up again, we came to Little Leigh, down to Acton Bridge, and along to Mrs Wade’s for lunch.  After a good wash, lunch was ready, and all of us did ample justice to it.  Afterwards, we spent half an hour in the garden, where the fisherman had us rocking with laughter at his antics.  Restarting, we took a bridle path which led us to the rural village of Onston, then Cuddington, and we settled down to a fast pace on the main Warrington – Tarporley road.  At Cotebrooke we plunged into series of byways lined with old cottages to Eaton, then our objective, the glorious ruin of Beeston Castle hove into view, and we were soon at the motor-crowded gateway.

Gaining admission, we explored the curious caves near the estate wall, then started climbing the steep hill, on the summit of which is the keep.  Passing through the many towered, but ruined outer wall, we reached the moat, from where a splendid view of the surrounding country was admired.  Peckforton Castle looked beautiful, the castellated towers and the inner curtain wall just peeping above the trees.  After some time, a guide arrived, and a large party, including ourselves, rolled in.  We explored every nook and cranny of the keep, disturbing many couples, and causing roars of laughter everywhere we went.  The guide took us to a well, down which he lowered a lantern.  It was very fascinating watching the ring of light grow less and less as it sped on its 366 ft journey.  So long did it take to return, that one member facetiously suggested having tea whilst awaiting.  At last we rolled out, and taking the bikes, we rode around the walls to a lane for Tarporley.  With many a backward glance at the fortress, we came to the town, from where a pretty bylane led us back again to Cotebrooke.  The wind had now dropped, and the heat was that of a midsummer day.  Another wild scramble took us along the fast main road through Weaverham to Bartington for tea, where four more members awaited us.  A cooling wash, then a good tea, and at 7pm, we started for home.  Stretton was soon left behind, and the terrible setts of Warrington appeared.  In parties of three or four, we made our way home, all agreeing that it had been a glorious day.                                                                                                                                                                                   83 miles